Leaning Closer To Winter

This weekend there was an abrupt change in the weather. High temperatures were in the 70s on Saturday but a strong cold front reintroduced a sense of reality to the weather by Sunday.

At this point in the autumn season average high temperatures are in the mid 50s and lows are in the mid 30s. The temperature trend over the next week or so will be running below the seasonal average.

A look at the record books gives a good indication of the variety of the weather at this time of year and it also is very telling as to where we are headed and how rapidly winter is approaching.

In the coming week record highs are in the mid 70s and record lows are around 20. By the end of the month, record low temperatures drop into the mid teens.

Snowfall records are also indicative of the changes coming. This week the record snowfall totals are in the one to two inch range. Next week the records are in the range of three to eight inches. Quite a jump.

Speaking of snow, the lake effect snow machine has set up in the strong northwesterly flow. Those same winds are piling moisture up against the mountains to our west and snow showers will be providing light accumulations.

Computer models are developing a disturbance to the west that is expected to move across the region Monday. Not all of the models agree on the results but this disturbance will support a considerable degree of cloudiness by afternoon and increase the risk of sprinkles or flurries at a minimum by the end of the day.

nam_pcp_036mNOAA Forecast Chart

The forecast chart above shows one computer model of forecast conditions in the predawn hours of Tuesday. Green shading indicates enhanced precipitation chances over the Chesapeake Bay. Temperatures at this time would support snowfall, most likely in the form of flurries or snow showers with no accumulation because the ground is so warm.

The jury is still out on exactly how this disturbance will behave so continue to check our forecast for updates.

Deeper into the week, computer models hint at an additional disturbance generating flurries on Thursday. One model is also developing a more significant storm on Saturday that could be a rain or snow maker. That forecast is a long way off and is subject to considerable fine tuning over the next few days. As the say, stay tuned.

John Collins


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